Chilled sake is... cool! | WSET Courses AccademiaVino

WSET Courses AccademiaVino

WSET Qualifications in Italy - Certificati WSET in Italia

Chilled sake is... cool!


Fruity ginjo and daiginjo sake are best served chilled and make perfect summertime drinks.

Many people think of sake as a drink to serve warm or even hot. That may be true for some of the traditional styles of sake made from rice that has only had a limited amount of polishing, like the basic futsū-shu, or the premium junmai and honjōzō. The fact that most of the middle layer of starch is left on the rice, means that these styles of sake have lactic and cereal aromas that may benefit from warming up. However, even these can be successfully served at room temperature or even chilled.

But chilling is the option that most people enjoy best when it comes to the most modern styles of sake, ginjo and daiginjo, made from highly polished rice. In ginjo the rice is polished to retain no more than 60% of the grain, and in daiginjo the polishing goes even further, removing at least 50% of the grain. The fact that only the innermost parts of the rice grain are kept means that these styles of sake show extremely fragrant and pure fruity and floral aromas. That is, the type of aromas that are enhanced by chilling and muted by heating.

So, particularly in the summer months, go for that fresh ginjo or treat yourself to a top-quality daiginjo, and enjoy it nice and cool with your sushi and sashimi.


ph. Kazoka